Using an EB-5 or E-2 VISA to Establish a Business in the US


In this week’s blog edition, FranNet tackles a subject that has been in the news quite a bit lately. The focus? How can you invest or own a franchise if you are not a U.S. citizen? Fortunately for our industry, entrepreneurship and small business ownership is open to foreign investment and there are two different ways to go about it. Having a wealth of experience in guiding foreign investment to over 3,000 franchise category opportunities, we’ll cover both avenues for you.

For qualified candidates, the E-2 Treaty Investor and EB-5 Visas are the defined options for establishing the residency qualification necessary to own and operate a business on U.S. soil. But why are there two options—and what is the difference?

The E-2 Treaty Investor Path
This is a type of visa status necessary to own or operate a business in the U.S. Simply put, the E-2 Treaty Investor visa has the power to grant a foreign national a temporary stay in the United States in exchange for investment in a business or entrepreneurship. There are, however, strict requirements as such:

  • The candidate must be an investor from a qualifying treaty country, as determined by the United States State Department. The full list is available to view here.
  • The candidate must invest a substantial amount of capital in a U.S.-based commercial enterprise. In other words, an investment probably in the range of $100-150k U.S. dollars.
  • The candidate must retain an equity ownership standing with the business or commercial enterprise.

And here’s one other very important piece of information about the E-2 Treaty Investor option—you may only begin the application process after you have identified your franchise interest, signed documents and secured a lease for the business. FranNet encourages the participation of an immigration attorney during each step and phase of this undertaking.

The EB-5 Visa Pathworld on top of money
This method is commonly referred to as the Immigrant Investor Program and is a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship in the United States, provided that several benchmarks are met. First, it’s much more expensive, requiring a business investment of $1 million for starting a new business, or $600,000 if the business already exists in a targeted business area. And the owner of the business must maintain an employment payroll of 10 or more at all times, past the two-year mark.

As with the E-2 Treaty visa, FranNet advises the participation of an immigration attorney during all steps. We’ve enjoyed a great track record of assisting foreign candidates through this process in the past, so if you know of an individual that could benefit from these processes, we’re standing by to consult with a free, no-obligation meeting.

Do you feel that you’re ready to get started? If this article has inspired you to investigate a franchise opportunity, perhaps it’s time for a free consultation with a qualified and experienced franchise consultant. As it turns out, FranNet is just the place! As a franchise consultant company with a great track record of assisting individuals on their path to business ownership, make arrangements to speak with one of our representatives today.

Aug 6, 2014